Welcome to 'DAVO' - Artist Facilitator Kay Armstrong
There is nothing better than going into a process with a creative brief. As a maker the blank canvas is not something I crave, the more defined the parameters the greater freedom I am afforded. So, it was fabulous to come into the world of Natural Order and have a defined job to do. Luckily, I was not alone on this adventure. I had with me a group of Milk Craters (Matthias, Pauline, Georgina, Gina, Desmond, Aslam) my support artist (Lucy) and fabulous volunteer (Emily) .
The job at hand was to create an orientation video for DAVO, which is the moniker for the imagined space in which some of Natural Order occurs. DAVO is an acronym for District Advanced Vocational Outlet – yep, that’s a mouthful, hence DAVO. Working with the participants across four workshops we explored ideas around cyclical movement, reimagined office objects, and the DAVO big sell. I decided on going with a green screen for the video because of its inherent illusory effect, as well it conjures a sense of dislocation which is part of the immersive experience of Natural Order.
I have to say that the actual filming was as entertaining as I’m sure the actual show will be. There was much on and off set shenanigans as we tried to wrangle the green screen, the lighting and the various props - flower petals to sugar sachets – ultimately transforming the Alexandria Town Hall into the bland office interior of DAVO.
I am grateful for the trust that is placed in me from all at Milk Crate Theatre. Through this I am able to bring my best, and consequently unafraid to try just about anything without feeling exposed or judged. Nothing is too ‘out there’ to give it a go. I think that this sort of held space means that everyone involved, not just me, feel the freedom to add their ideas, thoughts and energy to the mix. The final result then becoming an amalgamation of all the creative forces that were in the room at the time. I adore working in such a space. It is not a given that this will happen in every creative environment, so I am always excited to come on board for a Milk Crate Theatre experience! Always highly collaborative, always rigorous, but always lots of shared play.
I am currently in the process of editing the final video sequence and as is the norm a high percentage of the material created doesn’t end up in the final cut – the work sort of decides what is needed and what is superfluous. But if I fancy myself a bit of a giggle then I play the b-side of the DAVO orientation film – all the odd bits that didn’t make it to the final piece but are super hilarious in their own right.
I can’t wait to see how Natural Order coalesces, not long now until DAVO is unleashed upon the world!